Man arrested for pawning robotics club’s telescope

A man faces a felony charge after getting caught pawning a telescope that had been stolen from a children’s underwater robotics club on South Whidbey.

Monday, a judge in Island County Superior Court found there was probable cause to believe John J. Bagley, 36, committed the crime of trafficking in stolen property in the second degree.

Deputy Prosecutor Ian Michels-Slettvet pointed out that Bagley has “an extensive history” of failing to appear at mandatory court hearings. He has four active warrants and hadn’t appeared for a single court date.

Michels-Slettvet asked that Bagley be held in lieu of $7,500 bail and the judge agreed.

Ashley McConnaughey, a mentor for the South Whidbey underwater robotics team, discovered on Jan. 17 that the club had been burglarized. It is located in the basement of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Clinton.

More than $3,300 worth of equipment, including two large-screen TVs and an Orion telescope, were taken.

A deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office browsed online pawn history for shops in the region and found that Bagley had pawned an Orion telescope for $40 at Top Tier Pawn in Everett Jan. 23. McConnaughey and her daughter later identified it as being the one that was stolen, the report states.

Bagley was arrested on unrelated warrants Feb 11. Bagley admitted to pawning the telescope but claimed he did it for a friend.

Everything the club has, and everything that was stolen, was donated. St. Peter’s donates the space to the club and all the adults involved are volunteers.

“They really stole from the community,” McConnaughey said of the burglars last month.

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